ACTING NAREP president Charles Maboshe says the party has opted to keep its founding leader Elias Chipimo away from its internal wrangles in order to give him space to enjoy his retirement from politics.
And Maboshe says NAREP is still a committed member of the opposition alliance.
Speaking when he featured on Diamond TV’s Costa programme, Sunday evening, Maboshe said the party had decided to keep Chipimo away from its internal differences.
“Which challenges are you talking about, challenges like what has just happened now with Mr [Stephen] Nyirenda? No, not so far, he wanted to retire from politics and we said ‘please go ahead and see what you can do for the nation in that area’. So we haven’t been reaching out to him, we have given him a break so that he can focus on that. But if we feel that something is insurmountable, then we will reach out. But so far, these are things we think we can deal with. We believe now that as NAREP, we’ve got teeth, we are no longer a small baby. But if there is any issue which we would want to hear from him about, then we will reach out to him and I am sure he will have a listening ear,” Maboshe said.
And asked if NAREP was still a member of the opposition alliance, Mabodhe said his party had never left the alliance.
“As you know, the alliance came some time last year, we are part of that alliance. As a matter of fact, we are one of the parties which started that alliance. Mr Chipimo initiated that alliance and when Mr Nyirenda came in, he found us in that alliance and we attended the meetings together with him. But what I am going to do right now is to call for meetings with our provincial headquarters and then we will review what we want to do, we will review our position in the alliance, we will review where we are and move forward. And this calls for consultation amongst members,” Maboshe explained.
“But you need to understand something, there are two things, right now there is a pact which we’ve signed as alliance members to work together. What has not been done is the electoral pact and I think that’s what has remained to be discussed and append our signatures. That is why you can see that when there are by-elections and so on, alliance partners still put their own candidates. So what we are all waiting for is the electoral pact. But we haven’t decided on that yet as a party. So I want people to be consulted on this so that we have a national agenda.”
Meanwhile, Maboshe said NAREP made a lot of compromises to make Nyirenda party president.
“Yes, we agree, the aspect of Mr Nyirenda being required to serve one year before he could be appointed was overlooked. But probably, there was a mutual understanding somewhere for the betterment of the party because if someone came and said I am forming a party but then you ask them ‘okay, can we make something work for both of us’, but that doesn’t stop anybody from our party to say they don’t agree. So yes there was that compromise but later on we discovered that Mr Nyirenda had actually never been fit for Presidency,” said Maboshe.
On Saturday, NAREP announced that Nyirenda had been removed from the party for allegedly causing divisions.
Nyirenda has since petitioned the Lusaka High Court to declare that his expulsion from the party is null and void.